Swiss comedian under fire after anti-Semitic jabs

Comedian defends himself by saying there is always financial interest with Jewish humor that someone wants to gain.

Anti Semitism 390 (photo credit: Reuters)
Anti Semitism 390
(photo credit: Reuters)

BERLIN – The Zurich prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal investigation against a popular comedian for allegedly inciting anti-Jewish bias on a television show.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported on the matter on Friday.
Massimo Rocchi, a Swiss-Italian dual national, said on the program, “I apologize, but I’ll say that there is a always financial interest with Jewish humor that someone wants to gain. The Jew acts comical to show that he is a Jew and has humor and that he is close to God. The [true] comedian does not. The comedian does not want to win anything. The comedian is a victim.”
Attorney David Gibor filed the complaint on behalf of a Swiss Jew, who was not named in the article.
Gibor said that Rocchi made anti-Semitic statements in a SRF television program in March.
Gibor told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung that after the program aired, which dealt with the “Psychology of humor in the unconscious according to Sigmund Freud,” his client felt personally attacked by “the statement of the age-old prejudice that the Jew is greedy for money.”
According to Rocchi’s attorney, the prosecutor’s office questioned him on Thursday. Rocchi’s attorney said his client has never discriminated against people because of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.